SALISBURY'S MP believes "an agreement can be reached" to retain South Wiltshire UTC's site for educational purposes, after bosses announced it will close next year.

Speaking to the Salisbury Journal following the news the technical college will close its doors in August 2020 as it is "no longer financially viable", John Glen said he hopes a "local organisation" will take on the Wilton Road site.

He said: "[Following a meeting with the college] I made it clear that it is vital the campus is retained for technical education purposes and not sold off for residential development.

"We have some excellent local education providers including Wiltshire College and the Magna Learning Partnership, and I am confident that an agreement can be reached for a suitable local organisation to take on the Wilton Road site and expand their offering, making use of the investment in the facilities that exist.”

Salisbury Journal:

The comments come after chiefs at the UTC announced on Tuesday that those set to join in September will now need to find another place to study.

However, in a letter sent out to parents, it was confirmed that current students will still be able to finish their two-year courses.

Mr Glen added: "I have always been a strong supporter of University Technical Colleges (UTCs). Unfortunately, the South Wiltshire UTC faced a number of specific challenges which resulted in a low number of students on the roll,” added Mr Glen.

“This situation would likely have taken a number of years to turn around. Rather than let the situation drift with no guarantee of success, the Department for Education (DfE) and the Board of Governors have therefore taken the decision to close the UTC in August 2020.

“I met with DfE officials on Monday to ensure that existing students currently finishing year 10 and 12 will be fully supported to the conclusion of their studies next summer.”

As reported, the UTC first opened its doors to students in September 2015, after taking over the former police station as part of a £8 million refurbishment.

Less than three years later, in April 2018, it failed its first Ofsted report, with inspectors rating the college ‘inadequate’.